We all have goals. There are all kinds of goals. Whether it is to lose weight, save money, graduate college, read through the Bible, get our driver’s license, learn to swim, get out of debt, or a host of other things, we all have goals. It is exciting when we reach our goals. I remember the first time I read through the entire Bible! What an accomplishment! I have seen people who have gone on diets and lost a lot of weight. They are so happy they stuck with it and are seeing the reward of all that hard work. They are excited to be reaching their goal.
So what happens when you miss you goal? It stinks! You work hard, you push yourself, you give it what you can and you don’t make it. Maybe you don’t work so hard, and you don’t really push yourself, even so, missing a goal is hard. I have missed many goals. That is actually what spurred this post. We are in Argentina. We have lived here for 6 months now. We are learning the language. I spend hours upon hours in the language. I read a book called, “Fluent in Three Months”. It inspired me to set a goal of being fluent by October 02 (this Sunday). I put it on my calendar. I have worked so hard. I have practiced and practiced and practiced. I have improved greatly. The truth is that I didn’t make it. I am not even close to fluent. I missed the goal by a long shot! Some will say it was unrealistic, that I set myself up for failure. Maybe so, but regardless it didn’t happen.
- Talk to God about it. Prayer is a wonderful privilege. Because I am in Christ, I am able to go to the God of Heaven and share my concerns, hopes, and hurts. This is a privilege only believers in Jesus have. It is important to understand that God is not a “genie” to make our dreams come true. We are saved and our desire should be to fulfill His will. Our lives are not our own, we have been bought. In other words, as you talk to God about the goal you missed, examine if this goal is really what God would have for you. Some times the answer is obvious from a Biblical standpoint and other times it is not. Talk to God about it!
- Look at how far you have come. So you didn’t reach your goal, but how much “further down the road” are you now than when you set the goal? For me, I have drastically improved in Spanish. I just preached a Bible lesson for 27 minutes on Sunday. There is no way I could have done that even 3 months ago! Maybe you didn’t lose all the weight you wanted to lose, but if you lost a fraction of what you wanted, you are still closer to that goal.
- Examine what went wrong, or what might have been done better. Maybe you were unrealistic with your goal. Maybe you didn’t put the time or effort required to reach your goal. Take a hard, honest look at what you set and how you went about to attempt to accomplish it. Examine, learn, and change.
- Don’t quit. Okay, I missed the goal. That doesn’t mean it is time to give up. As for me, I am going to keep practicing, keep pushing, and keep trying to learn more and use it! I will be setting a new goal. Hopefully, I will make it. Whether I do or not, I will work hard in attempting to achieve it. Maybe you have a goal that you have dropped because you missed it. Get back up and get back to it. Don’t quit. Keep pushing, keep fighting, it is not over! There is a saying here in Argentina, “No esta muerto quien pelea.” It translates to “He is not dead who fights.” In other words, it is not over if you are still fighting for it.
I leave you with something I tell our children often, “A winner is not someone who never loses, a winner is someone who loses and continues to press on.”